MIDI track only makes piano sound

I am very new to Ardour, and I love it so far. Everything is working great. I have a question about the MIDI tracks. When I expand the track verticaly, I get the keyboard and stuff and I can add notes just fine. I can hear them too. But on the left, there is a dropdown with what looks like a large list of synths and stuff (JV-1080, MicroKORG, etc…) but changeing that seems to do nothing.

I read in the forums on how to change instuments through the mixer, but I only see one (Im sure I have to add some myself, I have no problems with that)

But my question is: What is that dropdown and what does it do?

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Welcome to Ardour, then.

The dropdown selection only sets name for controllers (MIDI CC Automation) and Presets (Midi Bank/Patch Change). They’re mainly useful when using external synths, although some synth plugins can be compatible with one of the listed ones.

To change the instrument, open the mixer window (or use Menu > View > Show Editor Mixer) to replace the synth or sampler plugin on the track. Alternatively when creating the midi-track, there is an “Instrument” Dropdown where you can also choose “none” (ie no synth the plugin) to use an external synth application or hardware synth.

https://ardour.org/instruments.html lists a few, but the list is a tad out of date, there are a lot more these days. Ardour 3.5 supports VSTi and LV2 instruments.

PS. If you have not yet found it, http://manual.ardour.org/editing-and-arranging/edit-midi/ and http://libremusicproduction.com/tutorials/recording-audio-and-using-midi-ardour-3 provide good information to get started with Ardour-Midi.

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